Below are details of our schools project run on Troopers Hill during 2013.
The Stepping Forward Schools Project was funded by the Community Spaces programme and the Co-operative Membership Community Fund. The Community Spaces grants programme is being managed by Groundwork UK as an Award Partner to the Big Lottery Fund. Community Spaces is part of the Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces initiative.
The Schools Project was aimed at primary school children and was suggested by teachers at our local schools. To aid in location finding small images have been introduced (see below) on the Hill. Teachers can develop projects searching for these images and then using the features around the hill and the information on the leaflets. Trees have also been tagged to form a tree trail.
The result can be seen at www.troopers-hill.org.uk/FunLearning. The tree trail is at www.troopers-hill.org.uk/TreeTrail. We would welcome any feedback.
We were pleased to work with environmental education specialist, Ruth Coleman again on this project. Ruth worked with us on the woodland waymarking part of the main Stepping Forward Project in 2012 to create the Woodland Trail.
More Information on the Images
The images are 23 discreet,
small metal plates etched and shaped as
symbols inset into the existing steps or
other suitable places on Troopers Hill Local
Nature Reserve. The images have been based on ideas and drawings from the school children (see below). The plates have the appearance of copper, zinc
and brass. These are linked with the site’s
industrial past of smelting copper to make
brass. The symbols are simple but
beautiful e.g. deer, butterfly, spider. The
plates have been fixed to deter vandals,
weather well and need no further
Resources for Teachers
Following work with primary school children to plan the three trails and draw the
symbols, the Troopers Hill website has been
- Downloadable pdfs of the three trails with
- Simple map(s)
- Information on what can be found at
Troopers Hill, a unique area of acid heath
and grassland set in a city.
- Word search quiz sheets.
Developing the Project with Summerhill Academy
We held a workshop session at Summerhill Academy in February to get the children's ideas for the images. This was followed by a day on Troopers Hill with all three year-3 classes in turn trying out the trails (using temporary markers) and drafts of the information that will be provided on the website. The sessions went really well; they highlighted some minor changes that are needed and these were incorporated before the permanent markers were fixed.
A full report on the school sessions, including photographs can be seen via the links below:
Stepping Forward, School Project - Workshop February 2013
Stepping Forward, School Project - Visit to Troopers Hill March 2013
Following these sessions the plates were fixed in position:
Stepping Forward, School Project - Something new on Troopers Hill April 2013
The website for the Fun Learning Trails can now be seen at www.troopers-hill.org.uk/FunLearning